healthy

Fall in Love

I know this is where I am in my journey. It’s partially where my never quit attitude comes from. I love working out. I love trying new workouts even more. I don’t miss the junk food or other crap food. Although I do have it occasionally (transparency ūüôā ) And occasionally is just that, maybe once or twice a month and it’s planned and controlled. However, most of the time it does not live up to my expectation and I don’t even finish it.

FIL

I didn’t get here overnight, but with a mindset for reaching my goals and just being healthier I arrived at¬† this point. In my opinion losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off is one of the difficult and most rewarding things one can accomplish. It’s my belief that you must love the process in order to be successful. When you fall in love with the process it becomes a lifestyle. And this is my¬† lifestyle. It’s not a diet. I plan to live the rest of my life this way. I’m not doing this for summer, or an event I’m doing this because I love me and I love this journey, this process. I have learned to accept the downs and relish the ups. XO GRGT

Advertisements

Muddy Fukka: My First Savage Race

…after several minutes of being plagued by fear and doubt I simply took a deep breath, summoned my inner strength, looked at the treetops that I stood eye level with, took a step and flew.

My First Savage Race

I was so super excited to participate in my first Savage race. I was up at the crack of dawn to get to the venue and fulfill my volunteer duties. As I arrived at the venue the first thing I saw was, mud. As I drove the scenic horse farm, I noticed the muddy  uphill drive. When I exited my truck and walked towards the volunteer area I noticed, you guessed it, mud! This mud was about 3-4 inches thick. Not only was it mud but it was thick gooey make you walk like a baby deer on ice kind of mud and it was everywhere. Did I say everywhere? What meant to say was it was literally everywhere. No problem I expected to get muddy and dirty just not within my first 10 minutes, before I even checking in.
My race buddy Ro, and I were assigned the start  position. We checked armbands and bibs to make sure people were where they were supposed to be. It was a descent job. Then out of the blue we were asked by one of the race officials to participate in the medal ceremony. We handed out the medals to those that placed in the Pro Wave as well as those who placed in their age group. That was cool.

Finally, it was our time to hit the course. I started the race with my GORMR buddies I met when I participated in the Spartan Sprint earlier this year. Within the first 10 minutes I was disrespected by this black sludge, the consistency of under mixed cement, sent straight from Lucifer himself to wreak havoc on me, Muddy Fukka!! It was about the length of a football field going uphill. Hell, I thought it was the first obstacle, seriously.  Especially since that was the FIRST time I lost my shoe. The FIRST time I had to bear crawl up a hill and the FIRST time I thought WTF did I get myself into. And then Ro fell as quick as a flash. I was thinking, oh shit racer down! But she got up and kept moving.
Word on the street is this venue has not seen that much rain in many years. And it rained all last week. Really that was the hardest part trying to run, walk, crawl through the mud. This is how difficult it was for me to move in this muddy fukka, I looked down at my heart rate monitor to see how many calories I had burned at that point and it said 506 calories, I looked at the time that had elapsed it said 26 minutes, my heart rate said, “I sure hope they have an AED tucked away out in this forest because yo ass gonna need it, and soon.” I kid you not it had all of that written on the screen, and 188 bpm.¬† I was dying.¬† And then Ro fell as quick as a flash. I was thinking oh shit, racer down! But she got up and kept moving.

Then it was crab walk down one hill, then immediately bear crawl up the next. I have never experienced mud like this in all my life. At one point I had 3 different shades of mud on legs, red, black and grey. I became a mudologist¬†that day. ¬†The black is a deceitful¬† SOB, and there to put you on your ass before you even realize it’s happening. I vowed from the beginning I’m NOT falling.¬† The grey is a sucker, it will literally suck the shoes right¬† off of your feet. Picture this, Terminator 2 the T1000 is caught in that liquid nitrogen spill and his foot gets stuck, he try’s to move it but it won’t and he looks at it like WTH? Then he finally moves it but he really just snatches his leg off and leaves the foot, yep that’s how I was, I snatched my foot out and left my shoe, several times. Muddy Fukka!¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

I discovered the red clay variety is my favorite because it’s easily compacted for better footing and it lacks the malodorous aroma of the others. From all that bear crawling and crab walking I was sure my hands would never come clean again. So every chance I got, whether in a running creek, water challenge or water station I was trying to wash my hands.¬† But, they were futile attempts, seems every time I stepped out of water my feet and hands were immediately right back in that damn mud. That mud actually gave me a bit of ‘tude something I rarely have in general but never at a race.¬† And then Ro fell as quick as a flash. I was thinking oh shit, racer down! But she got up and kept moving.

I kept noticing stranded single shoes, that had been made orphans by that damn mud. Their mates forever lost in the muddy abyss at Moonlight Stables. Some of the trees and twigs on the side of the trail had been COVERED in mud where people were using them as natural handrails¬†to make it up or down hill on their feet as opposed to their butts, sides or backs. And most importantly,¬†to not¬†become a human bowling ball looking to make a strike on the other racers. Someone yelled, “Be careful there’s a really bad patch right¬†there.” And then Ro fell as quick as a flash. I was thinking oh shit, racer down! But she got up and kept moving.

As I struggled up one particular hill I lost my footing and could not reach a branch or a twig to stop my descent (picture me sneaker surfing backwards down hill complete with surfer stance). When all of a sudden there where hands on my ass, and a mans¬† voice¬† said, “I got gotcha girl. You are not going any further. Up ya go.” Y’all I didn’t even look back to see who had such a firm grip on my ass. All I was thinking was yeah hold that ass and leggo! And up we went.¬† When we got to the top I discovered his name was Michael.¬† And this would not be the last time he would have a handful of my ass. After a few times, I¬†suggested, ¬†since you have already gotten to second base, maybe we should exchange numbers and go out. Not only did we laugh but the folks around us were laughing and trying not to slide back downhill. And then Ro fell as quick as a flash. I was thinking oh shit, racer down! But this time I could not contain my laughter. I totally stripped that tree branch free of every leaf it had trying to hold on grasping at anything,¬†yet continuing to slip and laugh. The laughter became contagious. But true to form Ro got up and kept it moving.
On to the “Other” obstacles. Shriveled Richard is a huge ice bath. Not only do you have to get in it but you have to go under a half wall. Ole Dick took my breath away when I first got in, and when I went under lawd, I can’t describe how it felt to totally submerge myself in that literally ice-cold water. I can’t remember all¬† of the obstacles, there were at least 25. So, I’ll just share the ones that stood out for me. Nut Smasher, you had to traverse these warped wiggly balance beams that were over a huge mud puddle. I tried, got half way and into the water I went. I was cold, But I washed my hands, lol. Colon Blow 5000 was actually fun. It was a 24 inch wide tube you had to crawl up, then without warning it tipped down and “blew you out into what else, mud! It was sorta of like a seesaw. Hands first in the mud, argh! Lumberjack Lane, I carried a 4×4 1/4 mile, that was probably the easiest obstacle. Thor’s Grundle, I had to under 3 walls that were in mud pools. Slick ass mud kinda just shot you into the water. I didn’t care, another chance to washed my hands and then had to use them to crawl out, smh. Me So Thorny, required me to low crawl under barbed wire through the mud maybe 50 yards. Then there was¬† Colossus a near VERTICAL 24 foot slide. It was fun, it’s lightening fast and I know I was airborne for a good 3 seconds once I hit the bottom of the slide, and before I hit the water. Super cool, yet a¬†little intimidating I must admit.There was one (don’t remember the name) but we had to climb over a series of logs that were maybe 5-6 feet high. I got over the first one on my own, but had issues with the others. Scooter, assisted me, by holding my waist as I jumped over. 1-2-3, and up and over I went. Either I was stronger than we thought or he was stronger than I thought, because I totally overshot the log did some sort of SWAT roll and continued to roll down hill. All we could all do was laugh.¬† Off to the next obstacle and say it with me, and then Ro fell as quick as a flash. I was thinking oh shit, racer down! But she got up and kept moving.

However, the¬†obstacle that took the cake for me was Davy Jones’ Locker, 15 feet high and you had to jump off the platform into 15 feet of water. I had no idea I was afraid of heights or water definitely not¬†both. But put them together and there you go, Fear.com. I stood on that platform 15 minutes. All of my race buddies had gone, some twice and I just could not make myself jump. But I knew if I left and didn’t do it, I would regret it. I prayed and¬† cried up there, yes, literally nose running crying and I couldn’t even wipe it because my hands were muddy. Muddy Fukka.¬† No less than 25 people gathered at the bottom cheering me on. At one point they were actually chanting Denna, Denna, Denna!¬† Some dudes riding the property stopped in¬†their truck and blew¬†the horn in support and the paramedic actually came up, and said he would jump with me. He said he had participated in this obstacle 20 or 30 times and never had he done this to help someone. I think that was suppose to make me feel better but it just made me feel worse. ¬†I really felt horrible it was taking me so long to¬†jump. I stood there higher than the treetops trying to summon the courage to just be free and fly. So many words of encouragement and I was heading to the steps saying I just can’t with muddy tears and snot everywhere. Several things went through my mind at that moment, I tell my kids to try, you can do anything you set your mind to do. Second, I’m not a quitter, and third what would I tell you all and my trainer. I can’t tell you all I quit. Then I cried some¬†more. So many arms were around me at that point saying it’s ok you tried. But I had not. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks and my tears stopped and I walked to the edge, half of my muddy feet teetered¬† off the platform¬† and I simply said, “Honey please help me.” and¬†with my next breath I flew. Though my flight brief, I felt totally relaxed and all fear was gone. ¬†When I finally, resurfaced, I don’t have the words to describe how I felt. I remember saying ,”Thank you.” Then I heard the cheers and applause and there were high 5’s in the water. Scuba Steve was there to offer assistance, ¬†the paramedic was in the water with me, as well as the lifeguard who had come up on the platform to jump with me.¬†It was amazing. I won’t soon forget get Davey Jones’ Locker. Needless to say that was the most memorable part of the Savage Race for me.¬†With that being said, ¬†I think I’ll stop there.
I have never felt more deserving of a medal and a t-shirt in all my races. So thankful for my GORMR buddies, Craig, Nick, Lindsey and Scooter for staying with me throughout the race. Thanks for backtracking Craig ūüôā And of course Ro, we¬†started together and finished together. ¬†¬†I have asked myself now that it’s over, would I do the Savage again?¬†My answer,¬†yes. This race really pulled my inner beast out. That mud tho! I was so SUPER sore, legs, butt, cardiovascular and respiratory systems threatened to shut down but the bigger question is, “But did you die Muddy Fukka?”

I AM A SPARTAN AROO

“Spartans ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight we dine in hell!”

IMG_1822

My Spartan race experience was so freaking amazing. There is so much to tell but there is no way I could tell you everything, this would become a novel. So I’ll give you the detailed highlights.

I was initially supposed to race with some ladies but that didn’t work out so I put on my Greek panties and went solo. I wasn’t even really nervous because I knew things would work out perfectly for me. And guess what? They did. I had not been there 5 minutes and met Howard, aka Mr. Kinky, who would become one of my race buddies. We hit it off from hello. Within 10 mins we had nicknames for each other. And within 12 minutes “Our” girlfriend had joined us and it was on and popping from there. They were team Chaos and are also members of Georgia Obstacle Racers and Mud Runners, or GORMR.¬†They¬†were¬†¬†largest group represented¬†there. They were the coolest of cool.

Okay so get this, I had to jump/climb/crawl over a 6-7′ wall just to get to the start line.¬† I’m walking around that area wondering how the hell do I get in? When the volunteer says you have to go over. (Humm maybe I was wondering out loud, lol) I asked, are you serious? She said yep! So that’s when I got¬†my first, bruise, LMAO. So we got the Spartan speech which ended with “Look at the Spartan to your left. Now look at the Spartan to your right you will draw strength from them and they from you. They will not let you fail! ¬†Truer words have never been spoken. And a chant, Who are you? Answer, I AM A SPARTAN!! With that we were off. .01 mile in, the¬†first obstacle, a mud moat…white sneakers became Georgia clay red. Then there were hurdles 6′, 8′ and 9′ maybe. We did them as a team.¬†2 out of 25+ DONE ūüôā

The one that I’ll never forget, would be that damn red bucket that they made me fill with rocks and carry it 1/4 mile up hill! The bastard ¬†Persians, I know¬†Xerxes, was behind that. (rolling my eyes at him)¬†I know that bucket had to weigh at least 75lbs. I did fine for the first 1-2 minutes but then…I was done. I started pulling, dragging, and praying. It was then my Spartan guardian angel showed up. I put my bucket down and he picked it gave my some carrying techniques and cheered me on. I had never seen this man before. I walked about another 50 yards and my back started hurting. I had to put the bucket down, again. And there was Zack ( I later learned his name) He gave me some sort of back rub and chile, I almost wanted to kiss him. At first I was like whoa, whatcha doing back there? Then I was like, whoa, yeah that’s it! LMAO. He said, “See, I got ya.” He picked my bucket up again gave me more guidance and I was off again. When I finally made to the dump spot, they were asking us to dump on a higher end, which meant I was going to have to lift that heavy ass bucket over my head and over the ledge into the dump area. I’m thinking damn really? No way. And there was my Spartan, he dumped my bucket for me and gave me the biggest hug and whispered words of encouragement to me and sent me on my way.¬† That was an awful challenge yet a beautiful challenge.
IMG_1587

The mud pits, the MUD PITS the ROLING MUD PITS.¬† (Is that what Adel meant when she sang Rolling in the Deep?) The muddy clay¬†was slippery, and the water was freezing. My feet sank to shin deep and I had to battle the slopes for my sneakers. And battle the cold water for my breath. So when I slid into the first pit, and the cold water hit my body I almost went into shock. SN: If you have ever seen the Movie Sugar Hill with Wesley Snipes,¬† the last hit his father took that killed him he began to say whoo, whoo, whoo. Yeah that’s how I was doing it. If not, how about jumping into a cold pool, filled with ice. There were four pits back to back. Each a little deeper that the preceding one and colder, if that’s possible. I went from waist deep to nipple deep by the time I exited the 4 pit. Did I mention the drop off in pit 3?¬†Yeah there was a drop-off. Oh to be 5’3″, smh. Dory from Finding Nemo came to mind, “Just keep walking, just keep walking.”

Then there¬†was a cargo net hanging from a cliff that was as high as the Statue of Liberty. You had to use a rope that was dangling from the cargo net to get to the cargo net. But it wasn’t bad. It was actually one of the easier challenges. I enjoyed that one. I’m sure I looked like Spiderwoman on that one.

11044570_10152633185056861_4315639095087170909_n[1]

“No retreat, no surrender, that is Spartan law.”¬†¬†

The Tarzan¬†swing was the hardest thing for me to do. We had to grab a rope and swing over a, say it with me now, a mud moat! I must have stood there 10 minutes trying to get the nerve to do it. Lawd have mercy, I was all Jane, honey waiting for Tarzan to show up so I could hitch a ride on his back. Hell even Cheetah would have sufficed. Of course the people around me were giving me tips and cheering me on. My race buddy was standing next to me trying to get up the nerve as well. She eventually took the burpee penalty. But I knew I had to do this. That was my goal complete every challenge. And it Spartan law. So I closed my eyes, held on tight and swung….right into the mud moat, LOL. But, I tried. Maybe had I kept my eyes open I could have made it to the other side without yet another cold mud bath. SN: Does anyone know if Georgia red clay is good for your hair or skin? I’m sure there is some around here somewhere.

I carried sandbags up ungodly, unforgiving¬†small mountains, I hoisted 80lb sandbags 2 stories in the air. It was about this time someone with a megaphone began to yell out my name. “Denna? Denna is that you? ” I initially thought I was hearing things but then the person started walking towards me without outstretched arms. And she said I was looking for you. I’m so glad I saw you.” Total shock on my part. Turns out she was a friend of a friend who I had met a few months ago. Never expected that. You know who is watching or where. ¬†¬†I carried a 60lb Atlas ball 20 yards did 5 burpees and took it back 20 yards. I completed a memory challenge, you had to read the directions that were upside down. You had to¬†read 1 word and 7 numbers and commit them to memory and provide it when asked later in the¬†race (which was about 10 obstacles and 1 hour later) I still remember it MIKE 384 7893. AROO!

I climbed an inverted wall that was about 10 feet high and had to belly slide down the other side. I made a clean spot on the plywood (O_O). I traversed 3 walls with someone’s hand on my ass for 2 walls. No worries, I returned the favor and groped her ass for 2.5 walls. Matter of fact, I touched a LOT of foreign ass on Saturday, LOL. And there were more than a few hands on mine.¬† I climbed a 10, 12, 15 foot wall with help of my race buddy Howard. God bless Howard, I stepped on that mans quads, cupped hands, and shoulder and possibly his ear, ¬†just to name a few of the parts. Lord if it were not for him, I know I’d still have 5 more obstacles to go, right now lol.

I crossed monkey bars, all but riding Laura’s shoulders. There were cargo nets several stories high. I threw a spear, after all I am a SPARTAN. I climbed a rope that was suspended about 2 stories high, well I got to the attic, of the first story, lol. My arms were done and the I was muddy and the rope was wet and muddy. Did I mention I had to go chest deep in yet another, muddy ice bath to get to the rope? Yep they were suspended in the middle of a huge mud pit.¬†That had to be the Persians again.

I low crawled about 100+ yards through puddles that threatened to drown me, mud so thick I was losing my pants all this, under varying levels of barbed wire suspended¬†mere inches above me, only to reach¬† a mountain of mud that was nearly impossible to climb. There was nothing to grip, nothing to get your footing on.¬†And once at the top I realized that oh, now I have to slide into this mud hole that is abdomen deep on this tall lady, so that means it’s drowning level for me. There was a huge board dividing it lengthwise. It rises about 7 -8 feet out of the water and disappears below the surface of the water. They tell me I have to swim under. Wait, say what now? How wide is this thing, how far does it extend into the water? Damn! They say it’s 4 inches wide and only about 6 inches into the water. I give them the you better not be shitting me look and check. They seem to be correct. I look at my race buddy and say, I’m just going to do it. She said, “Really?” Yep, I’m just going to do it and get it over with. I’ve come to far to be stopped by a bit of muddy water. Hell I am muddy water at this point.¬†And with that I disappeared under the water. I resurfaced to cheers and applause. Now, I’m literally soaked from head to toe and covered in mud from head to toe. From there, there was another football field of low crawling under barbed wire. Oh yeah, then onto the Slip Wall. That was a bitch! The wall was at an angle wet, covered with mud and they want you to go up and over.¬† Fortunately I made it over the first time, no back sliding (or belly sliding). I think my toes came out of the bottom of my sneakers and just dug in and held on. What else could have happened? Everyone wasn’t so lucky.

IMG_1755

There were several other obstacle to complete before completing the challenge. I honestly can’t remember them. I do remember the final mud moat that was waist deep, I waded through that and then I could feel the warmth of the fire! I had done it! I had complete every single challenge they threw at me, all that was left was to jump the fire. I did it. And I did to applause cheers and whistles. What an awesome feeling. And when they placed my medal around my neck I felt like a real Spartan, Leonidas would have been proud, AROO!!

I can’t wait to add my super medal, to go along with my sprint and finally complete the set with the beast medal. Super proud of myself for completing this race.

The video shows what I saw the following day as I volunteered, as well as few stills of my muddy self.  I was thinking to myself, wow you did that! Hey you did that as well. As I watched many many people do the challenges I could just feel the pride swell within me. I was just so proud of myself.

 

IMG_1684                                                               Spartan

Flourless Protein Pancakes

These pancakes are delish. Great for breakfast or a snack. They are one of my favorites. Super quick , easy and tasty! Everything you need, complex carb and good protein. I sometimes add berries and/or greek yogurt to mine. But plain is just as delish. Today I only added 6oz of almond milk on the side. Makes 1 serving!

 

FPP

Salvation

The pianist begins to play as the pastor walks from the pulpit. Let the church say Amen! The doors of the church are now open. Will there be one? Will there be one?
I look from left to right, take a deep breath and make my way to the center aisle adjust my dress and begin my walk to salvation.

Because I have just spent 60+ minutes in HELL and I don’t want to spend an eternity there. Yep he was¬† ’bout the devils business today because I remember my pieces and parts being on fiyah.¬† That’s really all I have because I’m so tired I just remember the feelings not the actions that brought about the feelings, LMAO. I know it was mostly upper body but that’s ALL I remember. I also remember the deadlifts and those 10 plates on the leg press machine.¬† Oh and I remember walking to my truck. Even with all that said, I know I loved it. And I know at one point I laughed so hard I cried, cause some dude booty was hungry and eating up his sweats that were DIRECTLY in my line of sight whilst I was trying to press those 10 plates! My gym time is SO FREAKING awesome!

So when I reached the preacher…LOL

Did I happen to mention, I went back to the gym and took a TRX class? Umm well yeah, I did. As I drove to class I began a conversation with myself and it went something like this.

What in the heck are you doing? Why are you going to this class? Aren’t you still tired from that dip in the fiery pit from earlier?

My responses went something like this.

Idk, sigh. Idk, sigh. Hell, yes!

And then I was thinking well I’ll just do what I can. Some will beat none. But, in reality that will not work for that class. My instructors have already have expectations. I’ve talked so much trash, it’s a¬†must I back it up. My instructors even refereed to me as “Beast” as¬†opposed to my name, lol. That just sealed my fate, smh. So I had to beast it out. Jesus take the wheel.

And I did 2 miles on the dreadmill. Yeah, it was slow but I did it ūüôā

IMG_1161

 

Dedicated and Determined #GRGT

Progress

Everyone wants a quick fix. We live in a microwave society and that is not in our best interest for many reasons. It’s like the old saying goes, “Anything worth having is worth working for and waiting for.” When things come to fast I don’t think we get a true appreciation for it. We don’t value it like we should. This is true with weight loss as well. We need time to adjust to new mindsets, new bodies, and a new way of life.

The image that I am sharing comes from time, dedication, determination and hard work. I’d rather it take me some time to achieve my results and they be permanent rather than fast and temporary.¬† My results are from 5-6 days a week workouts, healthy food options and a new mindset. I’m still working towards my goals but I can see all that hard work is paying off in a big way.

Where would I be if I had quit? What would my progress look like (if any) if I had listened to my friends every time¬† they said ,”Girl go ahead and have that cake.” Or, “Treat yourself your deserve it.” Not where I am now that’s for sure.¬†¬†They say a picture is worth 1000 words, or in this case it has left some speechless ūüôā¬†¬† Trust the process and never quit.

TT

Recognizable Beast

It seems as though this TRX class is everything! I’m loving it. Yes, I went back again today. The thing of it is, I was super late for class and had hopes of just being able to slide into class but low and behold all straps were filled. My heart sank ūüė¶ Instead of moving on to something else I just kinda stood outside the class like a little lost puppy wanting to come in from the rain. Just as I was about to tuck my tail and move on, I noticed Amiee (one of the instructors) coming towards the door. And when she said come on in, I was overjoyed! I hurried inside before she changed her mind, lol. I was greeted with such enthusiasm from Victor, the other instructor. I felt right at home, in my house of pleasure and pain, lmao!

So this is how it went down today. When I grabbed my strap, it was break time for the class, but it was suggested that I catch up, (giggles). Hey, whatever, I’m bout this life. Bring it. And he brought it, LOL. If you all don’t know by now, when I show up, I show up with Beast Mode on. I’ll take on all challengers! So during class I choose to do the advanced moves, not because I’m showing off, but because everyone should work to their ability so that you can get what you need out of the workout. So, that is what I do. I challenge myself. And if in doing that I push others to challenge themselves, that’s even better. Even the guys, (giggles). It might be a “Mans World”, but that’s, my class.

So when class was over, Victor looks at me ands says, since you were late, “I know you want some more, do you want to stay?” Well at first I thought he was kidding but I soon found out he was not! So, in my mind, my inner Beast is being recognized. My desire, dedication and determination are shining through. And that is moving others to become a part of team GRGT! How freaking amazing is that.
My class, after class, was amazing. I worked my legs like nobody’s business. My biceps and my core. Chile my core, lol. It’s getting stronger that’s for sure. I love, love, love being pushed and challenged, it only makes me better and stronger.

Check out my video…whatcha think?

Dedicated and Determined to Get Right Get Tight